Ian Sims & Divergent Paths | Conundrum

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Jazz: Post-Bop Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Ian Sims & Divergent Paths

The Baltimore-based saxophonist's debut album presents nine original compositions with an all-star ensemble featuring Alex Norris, Paul Bollenback, Ed Howard, and EJ Strickland.
Genre: Jazz: Post-Bop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Conundrum
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
4:53 album only
2. Forgotten
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
8:09 album only
3. Cork Street Blues
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
5:47 album only
4. Treacherous Persona
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
6:36 album only
5. Beyond My Window
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
6:17 album only
6. Foiled
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
5:47 album only
7. The Eleventh Hour
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
5:08 album only
8. Solitude
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
6:04 album only
9. Misguided Perceptions
Ian Sims & Divergent Paths
4:54 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
For a couple years, I had been tossing around the idea of recording my debut album. Then I was selected to write a new composition for the Baltimore Jazz Composers' Showcase in August 2013, which would eventually become the title track. After completing the piece, and with the encouragement of family and friends, I decided to embark on this project. What made the album most exciting for me was the opportunity to work with such incredible musicians. Alex, Paul, Ed, and EJ really made the music come to life. I do hope you enjoy listening to the album as much as I enjoyed making it!

Ian Sims, tenor saxophone
Alex Norris, trumpet/flugelhorn
Paul Bollenback, guitar
Ed Howard, bass
EJ Strickland, drums

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Paul Wickliffe
Recorded at Charlestown Road Studio, Hampton, NJ on June 4, 2014
Mixed and mastered at Skyline Productions, Warren, NJ

Album cover artwork by Eugene Huang

The title Conundrum came about while watching a documentary with my family. I was having difficulty finding a name, as I often do, and then the show's narrator mentioned a "conundrum" facing humanity. With all the conundrums we experience on a daily basis, it seemed an apt title and hopefully accurately describes the tension, and sometimes abrupt, nature of the song's melody.

Forgotten is one of two songs on the album originally written for sextet. With a more melancholy tone and ethereal introduction, it seemed a natural transition piece from the album opening.

Cork Street Blues pays homage to a street in Winchester, VA near my hometown. Located in a historic district, the street is more or less a cultural center and provided some of my first live music experiences.

Treacherous Persona, also written originally for sextet, is a nod to one of my favorite albums, Found On Sordid Streets. The title is not in reference to a specific person, as I have been asked before, but is a comment about the song's more ominous sound.

The fulcrum of the album, so to speak, is the ballad Beyond My Window. Harmonically, it was inspired by the soundtrack for a beautifully made film chronicling the decline of Detroit. There was a short segment of music with a very haunting quality that I tried to emulate.

Foiled was originally written for organ and the title is synonymous with the frustrations we all must endure from time to time.

As evident from the title, The Eleventh Hour, was written as a quick edition to a recital and hopefully conveys a sense of urgency.

Solitude was the first full piece I ever composed and performed publicly, and is in reference to being able to find comfort in one's own company. It has gone through several transitions over time, starting as a simple lead sheet that grew into a nonet arrangement and was eventually condensed for a quintet.

The closing track of this album is Misguided Perceptions. Another uptempo tune, it was written using a cyclic form and seems to arrive at an appropriate ending.



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